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Arthur Torrey

North Billerica MA
Male

Member Since
Jul 26, 2015
Last Visit: Jan 8, 2018
48 Points
Point Rank: #9,673 Details

Likes Trad, Tr, Gym
Leads Follows
Trad 5.9 5.9
Aid C1 C1
Favorite Climbs
Anything adaptive.... (paraplegic LEAD climber)
Other Interests
Making -
More Info
I am an adaptive climber, wheelchair using Paraplegic (T-5, ASIA-B) I use a 'tentacle system' which is a variant on Aid climbing.

Most of my climbing is at the BKBS gym in Somerville MA, where I am part of the Adaptive Climbing Group. I am also a member of Paradox Sports...

On 6/14/16, I earned my LEAD Climber certification at BKBS, and did my first lead climb (and my first lead fall) on a 5.9 wall with about 50' of vertical, and lots of negative slope, including a near horizontal roof... Even broke a hold off the wall! As far as I know, this makes me only the second paraplegic in the world to lead...

Sept 10, 2017 BIG UPDATE!!!!
I finally got my lead chops on REAL ROCKS... I led about 30 feet up Kens Crack in the Gunks. I've done it before on training rope, but this time I did it on full lead, placing my own gear and so on... (Who issues outdoor lead cards BTW?)

This was a trip sponsored by The Adaptive Climbing Group. We worked with Doug from the Mountain Skills guide service (Highly Recommended folks) and many other incredibly helpful volunteers... BIG thanks to all that helped.

---- April 29, 2017
Outdoor climbing trip to Hammond Pond - fun climbing, but see my rant in the forums this-makes-me-safer-how-or-why-wont-the-guides-let-one-lead I want to lead outside, and feel like the 'experts' are my biggest problem....

---- April 2017
Only in the gym, but I keep pushing my limits - working on a project that involves a split route on 'The Tongue' one branch is a 5.10, the second is a 5.11, both 50 feet vertical, and the 5.11 branch has about 15' of roof. I cleaned the 5.10 branch on 4/2, which was my 1st ever 5.10... Now planning to tackle the 5.11 branch - both from the ground and from the branch point, it LOOKS like the holds are juggy enough to get my tentacles on them, the question is if they will stay hooked up when I actually get there????

Also looking forwards to the Adaptive Climbing Nationals that will be hosted at the gym in June... I can't compete, as they tell me I have no class ;-{ but I will probably be doing a demo at some point...

---- update - March 2017
I was down for much of 2016, thanks to a maximally embarrassing climbing accident - In July I broke my right femur while BELAYING....

I was doing a quick & dirty for my partner to set up for my climb (the gym wants me to stick clip the first two draws as I can't land on my feet...) I didn't fasten the seat belt on my chair, and when he came off the wall for me to lower, it yanked me out of the chair and I landed badly in front of it... Thought I'd just bruised myself, so went ahead & crushed the 5.9 route and did normal stuff the rest of Sunday. Monday I had a routine Dr's appt. and they asked me about recent falls - and said I should get this more extensively checked out.

Tuesday I went in for X-rays and was told I had a BADLY broken leg, and that the ortho surgeon would be in to see me shortly to discuss the surgery they were scheduling for first thing in the morning.... I ended up with a plate from just above my knee to most of the way up my thigh, and enough screws to make the after X-rays look like a construction site.

I wasn't able to start climbing again until late October.... Took me a while, but I'm back to leading 5.9's in the gym... They just put up some new routes and I'm hoping to tackle a 5.10 on their toughest wall (50 vertical feet with a curve into a long section of roof...)

I've also started an exercise program for persons w/ disabilities at a local rehab hospital, where I go in 3x week and work out on a ski simulator and a weight tower - seems to be doing a lot of good, I feel stronger and the other folks in the climbing group tell me I'm getting up the wall faster...

NEXT CHALLENGE, LEADING ON REAL ROCKS! (but first I have to GET to the rocks - Mother Nature is not 'ADA compliant,' and you can't sue, she is grandfathered as prior construction.....

On the few occasions where I can play on real rocks, I do 'mock lead' where I place and climb on (borrowed) protection. I've done several of the cracks on the Breakfast Wall at the Gunks this way.

A few weeks ago (9/15) I did a trip to the Gunks where I did a climb of about 30' up "Ken's Crack" (ever notice that some of the route names get you funny looks from non-climbers?) on both top and lead rope as a test. Was told I pretty much did everything perfect, and would have led on my next climb, but we got rained out...

Am about to do another trip this weekend (10/15), this time w/ Paradox Sports, and am seriously hoping to lead this time around... When I get my lead chops, I will (far as I know) be the second paraplegic in the world to lead climb.

The Paradox trip was a MAJOR disappointment!! They had a bunch of reasons that seemed totally bogus to me, but refused to let me lead climb... They pulled this decision late on Thursday night just as I was packing for the trip. I'd mentioned my goal of leading on the trip in EVERY e-mail I'd had with Paradox or the group leader. I might or might not have gone if the trip had been advertised as a 'top-rope-only' trip from the start, but I would have been OK with it either way. When I get kicked in the teeth by this sort of last minute change, I get really upset - and my van shows it....

Other than being stuck on the training rope, the climbing was OK - I did get to learn some hook usage, along with hexes, and tricams which I hadn't really had a reason to use before...

Haven't updated in a while, but back in May, did a day trip to a very local crag, the Hammond Pond reservation. Got to mock lead about 30' of a rather slabby crack. For an 'urban park' this is a great site, and really great for wheelchair accessibility.


To-Do List

None yet.

Ticks View All 6

5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 413
Ken's Crack
Sep 10, 2017 · Lead. My first REAL ROCK Adaptive lead climb, got about 30' up
Trad
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 8
Half and Half
May 21, 2016 · TR. Not 100% positive that this was the route I did, but definitely on this wall.
Trad, TR
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 413
Ken's Crack
Oct 18, 2015 · More Training rope, got up higher, used hooks more, also hexes and tricams.
Trad
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 413
Ken's Crack
Oct 17, 2015 · STILL stuck on top rope, when will I lose the training wheels? Did get to try using HOOKS.
Trad
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 413
Ken's Crack
Sep 12, 2015 · Almost lead.... top plus lead rope, would have lead the next time but got rained out...
Trad
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 8
Hard Boiled
Oct 19, 2014 · trying to ID from photos, have done all three routes on this face
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Ken's Crack Gunks > Trapps > a2. The Uberfall - right
 413
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Sep 10, 2017 · Lead. My first REAL ROCK Adaptive lead climb, got about 30' up
Half and Half Hammond Pond > Other Walls and… > Lower Walls
 8
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, TR
May 21, 2016 · TR. Not 100% positive that this was the route I did, but definitely on this wall.
Ken's Crack Gunks > Trapps > a2. The Uberfall - right
 413
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Oct 18, 2015 · More Training rope, got up higher, used hooks more, also hexes and tricams.
Ken's Crack Gunks > Trapps > a2. The Uberfall - right
 413
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Oct 17, 2015 · STILL stuck on top rope, when will I lose the training wheels? Did get to try using HOOKS.
Ken's Crack Gunks > Trapps > a2. The Uberfall - right
 413
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Sep 12, 2015 · Almost lead.... top plus lead rope, would have lead the next time but got rained out...
Hard Boiled Gunks > Peterskill > d. Breakfast Wall
 8
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b TR
Oct 19, 2014 · trying to ID from photos, have done all three routes on this face

Tick Breakdown

Pitches Routes Days Out
90 Days 0 0 0
Last Year 1 1 1
5 Years 6 6 6
All Time 6 6 6

Where Arthur Climbs